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Innovative Marine Aquariums

good set up for a nano tank


lindubz

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I am brand new to salt water tanks, let alone salt water nano tanks. But I really love projects that have to do with animals of all kinds and I love the ocean and I love to research everything in the ocean. Anyway, I think that I have came up with a good plan for my very small reef tank but I would love your input. Ok so here it goes, it is an 8 gallon acrylic tank with a built in filter and sponge filter hidden by several pounds of live rock, it has a 25 watt heater keeping the tank between 75-78 degrees, LED lighting, 2 inches of live sand, salinity of 1.024, pH of 8.2, reef accelerator supplement with calcium, iodine, strontium and magnesium. I would love to put 2 Nassarius snails, 1 dwarf red tip hermit crab, 1 bumble bee shrimp, 1 black barred convict goby, 2 shaving brush plants and some SMALL caulastrea coral into the tank over time. What do you think? Nothing that I named other than the plants and coral get over 1 and 1/2 inches big = 4.5 inches of living creatures (not including the coral or plants) and everything should get along from what I've researched. Please give me your input and suggestions into detail as I am new to this.

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I am brand new to salt water tanks, let alone salt water nano tanks. But I really love projects that have to do with animals of all kinds and I love the ocean and I love to research everything in the ocean. Anyway, I think that I have came up with a good plan for my very small reef tank but I would love your input. Ok so here it goes, it is an 8 gallon acrylic tank with a built in filter and sponge filter hidden by several pounds of live rock, it has a 25 watt heater keeping the tank between 75-78 degrees, LED lighting, 2 inches of live sand, salinity of 1.024, pH of 8.2, reef accelerator supplement with calcium, iodine, strontium and magnesium. I would love to put 2 Nassarius snails, 1 dwarf red tip hermit crab, 1 bumble bee shrimp, 1 black barred convict goby, 2 shaving brush plants and some SMALL caulastrea coral into the tank over time. What do you think? Nothing that I named other than the plants and coral get over 1 and 1/2 inches big = 4.5 inches of living creatures (not including the coral or plants) and everything should get along from what I've researched. Please give me your input and suggestions into detail as I am new to this.

 

You are asking for input, so...

 

1. Over 25 years I've had numerous glass and acrylic tanks. For a reef tank, glass tank every time (acrylic scratches way too easily). An 8g is do-able, but you'll have a bit more wiggle room with something larger.

2. If you use a 'built-in' filter with a sponge you need to make sure it is very easy to get to (don't bury it under rocks). You are going to have to clean it at least once a week. The reality is that filter floss is not a necessary, you really just need adequate flow. Properly functioning Live Rock and Live Sand will remove particulates, keeping the tank water clear. A hang-on filter is often used on these smaller tanks if it isn't an 'All-in-One' with back chambers.

3. A 25W heater *may* keep up, but depends on the room temp, open or closed top, etc. I need a 50W for my open-top 12G to keep it at 78F in the winter.

4. Good LEDs work well for a small tank like this due to minimal heating of the tank.

5. I found 2" to be a bit too much sand. I use a 3/4 - 1" sand bed (personal preference).

6. I had a Black Barred Convict for over a year. It did a real nice job of cleaning out all my amphipods and small bristleworms (which is why I bought it). It wouldn't tolerate any other fish, though, but left the hermits and snails alone.

 

After you have the basics down (light, flow, temp, water chemistry) chose organisms that are known to do well in the conditions you've created. Thereafter, your maintenance routine will make or break the tank in the long run.

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I think your well within the limits of your proposed system and I applaud you for not over stocking right off the bat.

 

An acrylic tank will scratch over time so if you can live with that then its fine. I personally went from glass to acrylic for my office reef because a glass box with 10 gallons of SALT water in my office worried me. I have no worries about my 8 gallon acrylic aquarium leaking or being accidentally broken. Don't use a sponge, filter floss will work fine. You shouldn't need any supplements, regular water changes will replenish trace elements if your using a good salt mix.

 

I've gone bare bottom on my latest 8 gallon reef (the bottom happens to be black acrylic so it actually work out quite nicely) and I'm amazed at how much "stuff" collects on the bottom of the aquarium. I find maintenance to be SUBSTANTIALLY easier in a small system without sand to get in the way. I can just blow all the "stuff" into a corner and suck it out with a syringe. Done.

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Thanks for the info! I am returning the sponge filter and going with the filter built into the back chamber of the tank like suggested. I am also going with only 1" of sand like suggested. Oops already bought acrylic though ans yes i have already scratched it. i'll still use it. Today I am setting all of it up for the first time so we'll see how it goes. I am buying 5-10lbs of cured live rock from petco tonight. Is it good to set up everything, add the water, then add the sand and then after all the sand settles and the tank is 75-78 degrees add the live rock? Also is it ok that the live rock will be off centered in the tank so as to provide more open swimming areas?

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Don't use petco rock. It is just lava rock they dumped in. Bu online or from an LFS. First add rock, then sand, then water. The positioning of the rock doesn't matter unless it is touching the glass (you don't want that).

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What do you mean? Petco advertises it as live rock and its like $25 a rock. Is it really just a scam? By the way this is a central NY petco. If you are sure I know somewhere else I can go that might be more legit. And thanks for letting me know the correct order of rock to sand to water.

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